Mission Offering for April: ABSW

Our April Special Mission Offering is for the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW). ABSW is located in Berkeley, and is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, evangelical, and ecumenical institution, ABSW offers its students resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. ABSW students may take classes at 9 other GTU seminaries and have access to one of the finest theological libraries in the world, a faculty of distinguished scholars, and the resources of UC Berkeley.

Many of our own church’s leaders and prominent members have been associated with ABSW: Pearl Pe’s father, the Rev. U. Than Pe from Burma (now Myanmar), was a visiting scholar for a year.  Rick Mixon is a graduate, as are the late Jim Shepard (CBTS), E.Y. Fung, Dona Smith-Powers and Lynn Hunwick.

Our goal for this offering is $750, which will be used for student financial aid and will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society.

Note from Pastor Rick (5/25/2016)

love quiltThanks to Geoff Browning, UCCM campus minister, for leading our Adult Spiritual Formation last Sunday.  It was good to brought up to date on UCCM program and activities, including their trip to Nicaragua last March. Both Pastor Gregory and Charlotte Jackson are currently serving on the UCCM board.

I had a good time as respondent to the annual Drexler Lecture at the American Baptist Seminary of the West last week. I got to provide transportation for the speaker, J. Brent Walker, the retiring Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty. It was great to get hear Brent’s update from the BJC and the state of religious liberty in the USA, and to get better acquainted with this fine champion of Baptist principles. Then, on Saturday I attended the ABSW commencement ceremony at the historic First Baptist Church of Oakland. The speaker was my old friend, Margaret Cowden, former treasurer of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. I enjoyed seeing her and also watching my students from last spring receive their diplomas and awards.

Worship this week will focus on “Peace Now”. The texts from Micah, Luke and Romans are all familiar passages pertaining to peace. Micah urges us to study war no more. In Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain,” Jesus tells us we must love our enemies. Paul, writing to the church at Rome, says, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Each text treats the challenges and rewards of committing ourselves to making peace now. We’ll close the service by singing, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

In Adult Spiritual Formation we will consider a new book by Dan Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. I heard Dan interviewed on public radio and was impressed with his understanding and vision. The book, Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts, is a thoughtful and practical guide to helping us find harmony and reconciliation, whether at home, church or on the global stage.

Join us for these opportunities Sunday, starting at 10:00 AM. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us as we explore the things that make for peace.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick

 

Note from Pastor Rick

Tomorrow evening the American Baptist Seminary of the West will present its annual Drexler lecture. This year the speaker is J. Brent Walker, the retiring Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty. This historic organization is supported by several Baptist groups and is a champion of real religious liberty in the USA, including the proper separation of church and state. Brent will speak on “Defending and Extending Religious Liberty for All: How Are We Doing?” I am honored to be one of the respondents along with Professor Abdullah Ali of Zaytuna College, a scholar in Islamic law and prophetic tradition.

The Spirit arrived on Sunday with colors and flame, with poppers and geese, with beautiful music and an appreciation of all things red. We also received the fruit of the Spirit as gift and challenge. Later that afternoon, Resounding Achord and the Carlmont High School Chamber Choir presented a splendid concert focused on compassion, justice, and the things that make for peace.

Which is the focus for this week’s worship. As Jesus came close to the end of his earthly life and ministry, he sat on the hillside and wept over the old city of Jerusalem. “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” He could foresee the destruction of the city that lay just  around the corner. So, what are the things that make for peace. Is it too late for us to learn them and practice them, or are we sowing the seeds of our own destruction? Isaiah presents a vision of the Holy Mountain that rises in the center of God’s Beloved Community. Here the Spirit blows wildly, wisdom flows freely and there is no longer hurt or destruction for creation is set right. Will we ever get there?

In Adult Spiritual Formation we will welcome Geoff Browning, United Campus Christian Minister at Stanford and some of the students who went to Nicaragua on a good will trip this spring. He will also share news of the Stanford Peace and Justice Initiative. UCCM is a mission project of FBCPA. Both Charlotte Jackson and Pastor Gregory currently sit on its board.

Come join us for any or all of these opportunities Sunday, starting at 10:00 AM. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us as we explore the things that make for peace.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick

Mission Offering for April: ABSW (4/27/16)

Our April Special Mission Offering is for the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW). ABSW is located in Berkeley, and is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, evangelical, and ecumenical institution, ABSW offers its students resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. ABSW students may take classes at 9 other GTU seminaries and have access to one of the finest theological libraries in the world, a faculty of distinguished scholars, and the resources of UC Berkeley.

Many of our own church’s leaders and prominent members have been associated with ABSW: Pearl Pe’s father, the Rev. U. Than Pe from Burma (now Myanmar), was a visiting scholar for a year.  Rick Mixon is a graduate, as are the late Jim Shepard (CBTS), E.Y. Fung, Dona Smith-Powers and Lynn Hunwick.

To date we have received $585 toward our goal of $750, which will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society. We encourage you to give generously to continue the long-standing support to students by the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto.

Mission Offering for April: ABSW (4/20/16)

Our April Special Mission Offering is for the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW). ABSW is located in Berkeley, and is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, evangelical, and ecumenical institution, ABSW offers its students resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. ABSW students may take classes at 9 other GTU seminaries and have access to one of the finest theological libraries in the world, a faculty of distinguished scholars, and the resources of UC Berkeley.

Many of our own church’s leaders and prominent members have been associated with ABSW: Pearl Pe’s father, the Rev. U. Than Pe from Burma (now Myanmar), was a visiting scholar for a year.  Rick Mixon is a graduate, as are the late Jim Shepard (CBTS), E.Y. Fung, Dona Smith-Powers and Lynn Hunwick.

To date we have received $445 toward our goal of $750, which will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society. We encourage you to give generously to continue the long-standing support to students by the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto.

Mission Offering for April: ABSW

Our April Special Mission Offering is for the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW). ABSW is located in Berkeley, and is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, evangelical, and ecumenical institution, ABSW offers its students resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. ABSW students may take classes at 9 other GTU seminaries and have access to one of the finest theological libraries in the world, a faculty of distinguished scholars, and the resources of UC Berkeley.

Many of our own church’s leaders and prominent members have been associated with ABSW: Pearl Pe’s father, the Rev. U. Than Pe from Burma (now Myanmar), was a visiting scholar for a year.  Rick Mixon is a graduate, as are the late Jim Shepard (CBTS), E.Y. Fung, Dona Smith-Powers and Lynn Hunwick.

To date we have received $175 toward our goal of $750, which will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society. We encourage you to give generously to continue the long-standing support to students by the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto.

Mission Offering for April: ABSW

Our April Special Mission Offering is for the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW). ABSW is located in Berkeley, and is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, evangelical, and ecumenical institution, ABSW offers its students resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. ABSW students may take classes at 9 other GTU seminaries and have access to one of the finest theological libraries in the world, a faculty of distinguished scholars, and the resources of UC Berkeley.

Many of our own church’s leaders and prominent members have been associated with ABSW: Pearl Pe’s father, the Rev. U. Than Pe from Burma (now Myanmar), was a visiting scholar for a year.  Rick Mixon is a graduate, as are the late Jim Shepard (CBTS), E.Y. Fung, Dona Smith-Powers and Lynn Hunwick.

To date we have received $150 toward our goal of $750, which will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society. We encourage you to give generously to continue the long-standing support to students by the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto.